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De Minaur, Tomljanovic to hit floor working towards GB | 28 December, 2023 | All Information | Information and Options | Information and Occasions

Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanovic will spearhead Australia’s United Cup singles clashes, however thoughts video games over a combined doubles pairing are solely ramping up.

Perth, 28 December 2023 | Dan Imhoff

The pre-clash jibes between Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter present no indicators of abating regardless of the Australian saying he’s unlikely to function towards his off-court accomplice within the combined doubles on Friday.

On the eve of Australia’s opening showdown towards Nice Britain at RAC Area, De Minaur solely fuelled Boulter’s assertion that his announcement was extra thoughts video games than a binding declaration.

“Effectively, you by no means know till you signal on the dotted line, come that combined,” De Minaur stated. “I might be an possibility. I’ve performed combined prior to now … with Katie. So I do know all her weaknesses.

“I’ve watched sufficient of her matches to know the spots to be attacking. However yeah, if we step out on courtroom, it’s simply all enterprise.”

John Millman, competing in his remaining Australian summer season of tennis, warned his teammate such discuss of weaknesses may have wider-reaching implications after Boulter earlier urged the announcement was “a double bluff”.

“My missus doesn’t have any weaknesses. That’s fairly courageous of you to say that,” Millman stated. “You’re in bother. (Alex) is perhaps sleeping on the pullout in my room tonight.”

Decided to stroll the discuss in his singles earlier than he shifts his focus to the Australian Open, De Minaur faces two tough opponents in arguably the hardest group at this yr’s United Cup.

He begins towards world No.18 Cameron Norrie on Friday earlier than a probable assembly with world No.10 Taylor Fritz on Monday.

Norrie claimed a win over Australia’s main singles cost throughout final yr’s United Cup group stage in Sydney, however the end result was reversed at Toronto the place the Australian went on to succeed in his maiden ATP Masters 1000 remaining in August.

The Brit accepted appreciable floor needed to be coated regardless of the consequence on Friday.

“I at all times have powerful matches with Alex. We each know one another fairly effectively,” Norrie stated.

“We apply with one another lots … I feel we’re all trying ahead to taking it to Australia. I feel it’s going to be fairly fascinating to see if Katie truly helps me or not within the match.”

Optimistic at beginning a brand new season in kind, following her title run in Brazil in early December, Tomljanovic has a possibility to hold that momentum into her opening stoush towards Boulter earlier than a probable assembly with world No.5 Jessica Pegula on Monday.

It presents an opportunity to assist bury the demons after having missed your complete 2023 Australian summer season of tennis because of a knee harm.

“I feel the month of January is at all times the month I wish to do my finest,” she stated. “That’s by no means modified.

“Having a little bit of time without work simply makes me extra motivated and I feel I’ve performed Katie a number of instances, final time on grass, if I’m not mistaken. However she’s coming off her finest yr.

“It’s going to be a extremely powerful match. She’s bought an enormous sport, however yeah, I’m simply trying ahead to getting on the market and doing my finest.”

Inevitably drawn into the pre-clash sledging, Tomljanovic delivered a delicate reminder of the depth in her crew.

Given Australia boasts two top-five doubles gamers in world No.1 Storm Sanders and world No.4 Matt Ebden, in addition to world No.17 Ellen Perez, the 30-year-old expects De Minaur might be left to focus solely on his singles.

“Alex will do his factor first, after which that might be sufficient,” she quipped.

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